The 1996-97 ABL Players: Where Are They Now?

Brad Rempel-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

Whatever became of the players from the first season of modern professional women's basketball - the 1996-97 American Basketball League season? Two of those players are playing in the WNBA...but what about the others?

I recently wrote an article about the players active in the WNBA who had also played in the old American Basketball League (1996-98). The ABL beat out the WNBA by one year and competed against it for a short time. There are only three players who played in the ABL who are also playing in the WNBA - Katie Smith, Taj McWilliams and Delisha Milton-Jones. Of those three, only Smith and McWilliams played in the league's inaugural season.

However, they weren't the only ones playing. The league had eight teams and 98 players took part in that first year. Each had their careers, long or short. Some played in the WNBA, some went overseas. Some went into coaching after they hung up their kicks, and others chose other professions.

I looked up each of those players - names familiar and unfamiliar - and decided to see what they were doing now. As they say at the Baseball Hall of Fame, what is listed below is based on the best information I had available at the time.

See if you can answer the following questions about these 1996-97 ABL players:

1. Which two players other than Smith and McWilliams were still actively playing basketball in 2011-12?
2. Which 1996-97 ABL player won Olympic medals not in basketball, but in track and field?
3. Which player won heavyweight titles as a boxer in two different belts?
4. Which player was offered $500K to pose for Playboy magazine?
5. Which player was a graduate assistant for a major women's college team *after* her WNBA career was over?

The players - and their current whereabouts, if known - are listed below:


Adrienne Goodson: Director of Basketball Operations, Old Dominion University
Amy Gamble: Last was assistant coach for John Marshall High School (Glen Dale, WV); basketball trainer
Andrea Lloyd-Curry:
Basketball Analyst, Mountain West Sports
Andrea Nagy
: current location unknown
Angela Aycock: Now Sister Paula, an Orthodox nun, last mentioned on internet in 2003
Anita Kaplan: Was Senior Financial and Accounting Analyst at PGP Corporation as recently as 2009
Carla McGhee: Director of Student-Athlete Development, Women's Basketball at Marquette
Carla Sterk: Retired in 2012 as head coach at Cornerstone University
Carol Shudlick: Married, three children, living in Western Springs, Illinois
Carolyn Young: Wife of Charlton Young, head men's basketball coach at Georgia Southern
Cass Bauer-Bilodeau: Registered nurse, husband Brent Bilodeau resigned as coach of minor hockey Tri-City Americans in 2012
Cassandra Crumpton-Moorer: Head coach at American Christian Academy (Tuscaloosa, AL) in 2009.
Charisse Sampson: Last played for Ibiza in LFB Spanish League in 2009
Charlotte Smith: Head coach at Elon, former assistant at North Carolina
Cherilyn Morris: Assistant basketball coach at Plano East Senior HS (Plano, TX)
Christy Hedgpeth: Now an executive for Under Armor
Cindy Brown: Occupation unknown but did contact Pleasant Dreams Blog in 2009
Clarissa Davis-Wrightsil: Former assistant coach at Texas and Rutgers
Coquese Washington: Head coach at Penn State
Cornelia Gayden: Activity coordinator, McComb High School (McComb, MS)
Crystal Robinson: Head coach at Murray State (College)
Dana Johnson: Athletic director, Dunbar HS (Baltimore, MD) - was former AD at Southside HS and coached boys team there
Dawn Staley: Head coach at South Carolina
Debbie Black: Assistant coach at Ohio State, Vanderbilt
Debbie Osburn: Better known as Debbie Sporcich, now owner of Wallingford Massage in Seattle
Debra Williams: current location unknown
Dena Evans: Instructor at PGC Basketball, an advanced basketball training camp
E. C. Hill: Assistant coach at Arizona, formerly at Northern Illinois
Edna Campbell: Became nurse, Director of Breast Cancer Recovery Programming
Etta Maytubby: Independent Women's Football League - player for Arlington Impact
Falisha Wright: May have been working at The Basketball Institute in 2010
Ingrid Dixon: Possibly Ingrid Dixson-Hardy, Community Services Superintendent, city of Santa Clara, CA
Jackie Joyner-Kersee: Olympic track and field star, gold medalist, retired
Jamillah Lang: current location unknown
Janice Felder: Possibly the head basketball coach at South Pike HS, her alma mater (Magnolia, MS)
Jenni Ruff: Last interview was 2008, mother of three, software salesperson
Jennifer Azzi: Head coach at San Francisco
Jennifer Jacoby: Athletic director, Knightstown HS (Knightstown, IN), former assistant coach at Illinois
Jennifer Rizzotti: Head coach at Hartford
Karen Deden: Head coach at Sentinel HS (Missoula, MT)
Kashka Dydek: Occupation unknown, but spoke to press about sister Margo's health in 2011
Kate Paye: Assistant coach at Stanford
Katie Smith: WNBA Player: currently with Seattle Storm
Katy Steding: Assistant coach at California, formerly at San Francisco
Kimberly Wood: current location unknown
La'Shawn Brown: current location unknown
Latina Davis: current location unknown, was working as a security officer as of 2005
Lauretta Freeman: Head coach at St. Paul's Episcopal (Mobile, AL)
Laurie Byrd: Was an assistant coach for the Washington Mystics in 2011
Leslie Morgan: current location unknown
Linda Godby: working for NCAA in 2011
Lisa Branch: Head coach at Lovejoy HS (Lucas, TX)
Lisa Harrison: Works with her husband, soccer coach Paul Rogers, at Performance Goalkeeping
Mara Cunningham: now Mara Cunningham Perkins, Membership Director at Governor's Golf Club in Nashville, TN
Margo Graham: Head coach at Village School (West Houston, TX)
Markita Aldridge: Senior loan officer at WestStar Mortgage
Marta Sobral: Founder of the Projeto Lance Livre, a sports program for children and adolescents in Brazil
Melody Howard: interviewed in 2012 in a newspaper article about her high school days
Michelle Marciniak: co-founder of SHEEX, which manufacturers luxury bedsheets
Missy Masley: is listed by Penn State as a coach at Cherry Creek HS in Colorado in 2011, but no record at HS website
Molly Goodenbour: Head coach at California State-Dominguez Hills
Monique Morehouse: Current location unknown, was playing in Italy in 2000
Natalie Williams: Head coach at Juan Diego Catholic (Draper, UT)
Nekeshia Henderson: Currently working in law enforcement
Niesa Johnson: current location unknown
Nikki McCray: Assistant coach at South Carolina
Nikki Rouillard: Strength and fitness coach in Denver, CO area
Rachel Hemmer: Systems manager at OSISoft
Rehema Stephens: MBA, Campus Director, Cambridge Junior College (Woodland, CA)
Rhonda Banchero: Realtor at Windemere Real Estate (Seattle, WA)
Samantha Williams: Assistant coach at Louisville, previously at Duke, DePaul
Saudia Roundtree: Was an assistant coach at North Texas in 2009
Shanda Berry: Law enforcement officer in Maryland, appeared in video at New York Liberty game in 2012
Shanele Stires: Assistant coach at Nebraska-Omaha
Shannon Johnson: Assistant coach at Northwestern State
Sheila Frost: Was last an assistant coach at Giles County HS (Pulaski, TN) c. 2010
Shelley Sandie: current location unknown
Shelley Sheetz: Assistant coach at Boston College, formerly at Denver, San Diego, Pepperdine
Sheri Sam: Playing for Hapoel Petah Tikva in Israel league as of 2011-12
Sonja Henning: Associate Director of Sports Marketing at Nike, member USA Basketball Women's Committee
Sonja Tate: Assistant coach at Arkansas State
Stacey Ford: current location unknown
Stacey Lovelace: Master's Degree student at Michigan, was graduate assistant for 2011-12 Michigan squad
Sylvia Crawley: Resigned as head coach at Boston College in 2012
Taj McWilliams: WNBA Player: currently with Minnesota Lynx
Tanja Kostic: current location unknown
Tara Davis: Summer Programs Coordinator of the Danna K. Johnston Foundation
Tari Phillips: former WNBA player, last interviewed by Helen Wheelock in 2008
Teresa Edwards: former head coach of Tulsa Shock, Chef de Mission for USA Women's Olympic Team 2012
Tonya Edwards: Head coach at Alcorn State
Tonya Sampson: On staff of the Carolina Queens, a team in the Independent Women's Football League
Tracy Lis: Owner of Waterfront Mary's restaurant (Webster, MA)
Trisha Stafford-Odom: Assistant coach at North Carolina, previously at Duke, UCLA
Val Whiting-Raymond: Owner at GameShape training facility (Wilmington, DE)
Valerie Still: Pursuing doctoral degree, writer of children's literature
Venus Lacy: last sighting was unveiling of sign at Brainerd HS (Chattanooga, TN) honoring her career there.
Vicki Plowden: inducted into Miami Sports HOF in 2007
Vonda Ward: won IBC and WBC Heavyweight title as a boxer, now a trainer in Bedford Heights, OH

Update: A big shout-out to Cindy Seaberg, who clued us in as to the whereabouts of Tara Davis after this article was initially published. Hopefully, we can find everyone on the list whose whereabouts are unknown!

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